What came first, the chicken or the egg? My vote is the egg, especially since this post is all about them. The latest and greatest debate lately has been: What is better for you, the egg white or egg yolk?
Eggs are a great source of a complete high quality protein with few calories. One whole egg has ~5.5 grams of protein in only ~68 calories. Eggs contain choline, which is important, especially since our bodies can not produce enough of it. Without enough choline, you can also become deficient in another essential nutrient, folic acid.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Egg whites are a low-calorie, fat-free food. They contain the bulk of the egg’s protein. The egg white contains about 4 grams of protein, 55 mg of sodium and only 17 calories. A single egg white also offers 1.3 micrograms of folate, 6.6 mcg of selenium, 2.3 mg of calcium, 3.6 mg of magnesium, and 4.9 mg of phosphorus and 53.8 mg of potassium.
It is true, egg yolks carry the cholesterol, the fat and saturated fat of the egg. However, what is often overlooked are the many nutrients that come with that, such as the fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and other nutrients. One egg yolk has around 55 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, 210 mg of cholesterol, 8 mg of sodium, and 2.7 grams of protein.
The table below by the USDA compares the nutrients of the egg white versus the egg yolk, along with a comparison of the percentage of total nutrition found in the yolk and white.
Nutrients: Egg Yolks Versus Egg Whites
Nutrient White Yolk % Total in White % Total in Yolk Protein 3.6 g 2.7g 57% 43% Fat 0.05g 4.5g 1% 99% Calcium 2.3 mg 21.9 mg 9.5% 90.5% Magnesium 3.6 mg 0.85 mg 80.8% 19.2% Iron 0.03 mg 0.4 mg 6.2% 93.8% Phosphorus 5 mg 66.3 mg 7% 93% Potassium 53.8 mg 18.5 mg 74.4% 25.6% Sodium 54.8 mg 8.2 mg 87% 13% Zinc 0.01 mg 0.4 mg 0.2% 99.8% Copper 0.008 mg 0.013 mg 38% 62% Manganese 0.004 mg 0.009 mg 30.8% 69.2% Selenium 6.6 mcg 9.5 mcg 41% 59% Thiamin 0.01 mg 0.03 mg 3.2% 96.8% Riboflavin 0.145 mg 0.09 mg 61.7% 48.3% Niacin 0.035 mg 0.004 mg 89.7% 9.3% Pantothenic acid. 0.63 mg 0.51 mg 11% 89% B6 0.002 mg 0.059 mg 3.3% 96.7% Folate 1.3 mcg 24.8 mcg 5% 95% B12 0.03 mcg 0.331 mcg 8.3% 91.7% Vitamin A 0 IU 245 IU 0% 100% Vitamin E 0 mg 0.684 mg 0% 100% Vitamin D 0 IU 18.3 IU 0% 100% Vitamin K 0 IU 0.119 IU 0% 100% DHA and AA 0 94 mg 0% 100% Carotenoids 0 mcg 21 mcg 0% 100%
As you can see, the egg yolk has more actual nutrients, but in my opinion the entire egg gives the most complete nutrition.
It is interesting that over the years there have been different recommendations regarding the best part of the egg. New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it.
Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol. However, if you suffer from coronary artery disease or have any heart health issues like high cholesterol, the recommendation is still to limit your dietary intake of cholesterol. Usually high-fat and high-saturated fat foods will also be higher in cholesterol.
Still have questions? Explore “the great egg debate” on this episode of A Healthier Michigan Podcast, where host Chuck Gaidica and I discuss potential risks of an egg-inclusive diet.
Are you leery of eating egg yolks? What ways have you found to use egg whites?
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If you’re looking to get a little extra protein in your diet, you might want to consider an option that’s garnered a lot of positive attention lately: pea protein.
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Yes, pea as in the vegetable. But don’t laugh; there’s a good reason it makes sense as a supplemental part of a well-balanced diet. To learn all about the benefits of using pea protein, we talked to registered dietitian Anthony DiMarino, RD.
What is pea protein?
Protein is one of the building blocks of food, a nutrient that gives food its structure, says DiMarino. Protein itself is made up of amino acids and protein from yellow peas contains easily digestible ones.
“The amino acids are extracted and create a powder which anyone can use as a supplement to a well-balanced diet,” DiMarino says.
Types of pea protein
There are three types of pea protein products, all of which are made from the yellow split pea, according to DiMarino.
Pea protein isolate: One of two types of pea protein you’re likely to come across in a store, an isolate is a powder that contains pea protein and amino acids and nothing else. “This type is great if you’re trying to lose weight and build muscle since it gets more protein in your diet,” says DiMarino.
One of two types of pea protein you’re likely to come across in a store, an isolate is a powder that contains pea protein and amino acids and nothing else. “This type is great if you’re trying to lose weight and build muscle since it gets more protein in your diet,” says DiMarino. Pea protein concentrate: Pea protein concentrate contains less protein but contains either additional carbs and proteins or carbs and fats. “This is the preferred product if you’re looking to add weight or as a meal replacement because it has additional calories but it’s a good source of nutrition, too,” he says.
Pea protein concentrate contains less protein but contains either additional carbs and proteins or carbs and fats. “This is the preferred product if you’re looking to add weight or as a meal replacement because it has additional calories but it’s a good source of nutrition, too,” he says. Textured pea protein: This type of protein is even less processed and you likely won’t come across it as a dietary supplement as it’s mostly used to make meat alternative products. “This is primarily for people trying to cut down on meat and focus on a more vegetarian or vegan diet,” he notes.
As DiMarino suggests, the type of pea protein that’s right for you depends on your needs.
How much actual protein is in pea protein?
“One cup of yellow peas on their own contain about 8 grams of protein,” says DiMarino. “But one scoop of pea protein isolate – the protein powder you’d buy at a store – contains between 15 and 20 grams of protein for every 100 calories.”
To put that in perspective, the recommended dietary allowance of protein for an adult is about 0.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight. For example, a 175-pound man would need about 63 grams of protein a day. If you’re active, you’ll need a little more.
In other words, pea protein powder packs a powerful punch, particularly as a dietary supplement.
The benefits of pea protein
There are several potential benefits that can come with using pea protein, Dimarino says. They include:
Easily digestible. Pea protein is digested well and therefore easy on your stomach, unlike high-fat meat products.
Pea protein is digested well and therefore easy on your stomach, unlike high-fat meat products. Creamier texture . “If you enjoy a creamier texture to your shakes, pea protein shakes are creamier than other options like whey protein,” DiMarino says.
. “If you enjoy a creamier texture to your shakes, pea protein shakes are creamier than other options like whey protein,” DiMarino says. Vegan-friendly . If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, this is a staple you can easily fit into your diet.
. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, this is a staple you can easily fit into your diet. Hypoallergenic . Pea protein is both gluten- and lactose-free, making it a preferred option for people who have those particular allergies.
. Pea protein is both gluten- and lactose-free, making it a preferred option for people who have those particular allergies. High in iron. Pea protein delivers a healthy helping of this essential nutrient.
Pea protein drawbacks
There aren’t many drawbacks to pea protein, says DiMarino, as long as you properly incorporate it into your diet. In other words, it should be a supplement, not a substitute for real food. “Remember the food-first approach and treat pea protein as an additional part of your daily intake, not in place of something else,” he says.
The only real drawback is that because it’s a plant-based protein, it’s not as “bioavailable” as other proteins. “In other words,” he adds, “our bodies can’t readily use them. They don’t have essential amino acids. If you’re using pea protein, you’re still getting protein but be sure your diet includes foods that possess the necessary amino acids that help your body absorb the pea protein.”
Which is healthier? Pea protein vs whey protein
When deciding between pea protein and another type, one thing to keep in mind, DiMarino says, “It’s not that one is better than another. It just depends on what you’re looking for and what trade-offs you’re okay with.”
Whey protein is the most popular of protein mixes, he says, for a few reasons. First, it’s easily absorbed by your body. It’s also more affordable than other proteins which can be a factor for many. And, he adds, it’s pretty similar to pea protein. “When you look at the nutrients whey protein has, it’s pretty similar in terms of proteins, fats and carbs.”
One primary difference is that whey protein tends to include lactose and gluten whereas pea protein, as previously mentioned, does not. That also gives the whey protein a creamier texture than pea protein.
The only other difference worth noting, he says, is that pea protein contains more iron than whey while whey has more calcium and potassium. “When it comes to choosing, it just depends on what you’re looking for,” he adds, “because they’re pretty similar when you compare macronutrients.”
The bottom line
The bottom line, says DiMarino, is that pea protein is a great, healthy choice for getting supplementary protein. Just remember, he advises, to use it in addition to a well-balanced diet and not as a substitute for any meal or other food.
Clear liquid contained within an egg
"Albumen" redirects here. For other uses, see Albumen (disambiguation)
For the musician, see Eg White
A raw egg yolk surrounded by the egg white
Egg white is the clear liquid (also called the albumen or the glair/glaire) contained within an egg. In chickens it is formed from the layers of secretions of the anterior section of the hen's oviduct during the passage of the egg. It forms around fertilized or unfertilized egg yolks. The primary natural purpose of egg white is to protect the yolk and provide additional nutrition for the growth of the embryo (when fertilized). Egg white consists primarily of about 90% water into which about 10% proteins (including albumins, mucoproteins, and globulins) are dissolved. Unlike the yolk, which is high in lipids (fats), egg white contains almost no fat, and carbohydrate content is less than 1%. Egg whites contain about 56% of the protein in the egg. Egg white has many uses in food (e.g. meringue, mousse) as well as many other uses (e.g. in the preparation of vaccines such as those for influenza).
Composition [ edit ]
Egg white makes up around two-thirds of a chicken egg by weight. Water constitutes about 90% of this, with protein, trace minerals, fatty material, vitamins, and glucose contributing the remainder. A raw U.S. large egg contains around 33 grams of egg white with 3.6 grams of protein, 0.24 grams of carbohydrate and 55 milligrams of sodium. It contains no cholesterol and the energy content is about 17 calories. Egg white is an alkaline solution and contains around 149 proteins. The table below lists the major proteins in egg whites by percentage and their natural functions.
Ovalbumin is the most abundant protein in albumen. Classed as phosphoglycoprotein, during storage, it converts into s-ovalbumin (5% at the time of laying) and can reach up to 80% after six months of cold storage. Ovalbumin in solution is heat-resistant. Denaturation temperature is around 84°C, but it can be easily denatured by physical stresses. Conalbumin/ovotransferrin is a glycoprotein which has the capacity to bind the bi- and trivalent metal cations into a complex and is more heat sensitive than ovalbumin. At its isoelectric pH (6.5), it can bind two cations and assume a red or yellow color. These metal complexes are more heat stable than the native state. Ovomucoid is the major allergen from egg white and is a heat-resistant glycoprotein found to be a trypsin inhibitor. Lysozyme is a holoprotein which can lyse the wall of certain Gram-positive bacteria and is found at high levels in the chalaziferous layer and the chalazae which anchor the yolk towards the middle of the egg. Ovomucin is a glycoprotein which may contribute to the gel-like structure of thick albumen. The amount of ovomucin in the thick albumen is four times as great as in the thin albumen.
Foam [ edit ]
Visual representation of protein denaturation. A globular protein becomes unfolded when exposed to heat.
The physical stress of beating egg whites can create a foam. Two types of physical stress are caused by beating them with a whisk: denaturation and coagulation.
Denaturation occurs as the whisk drags the liquid through itself, creating a force that unfolds the protein molecules.
Coagulation comes from the mixing of air into the whites, which causes the proteins to come out of their natural state. These denatured proteins gather together where the air and water meet and create multiple bonds with the other unraveled proteins, and thus become a foam, holding the incorporated air in place, because the proteins consist of amino acids; some are hydrophilic (attracted to water) and some are hydrophobic (repelled by water).
When beating egg whites, they are classified in three stages according to the peaks they form when the beater is lifted: soft, firm, and stiff peaks. Overbeaten eggs take on a dry appearance, and eventually collapse. Egg whites do not beat up correctly if they are exposed to any form of fat, such as cooking oils or the fats contained in egg yolk.
Copper bowls have been used in France since the 18th century to stabilize egg foams. The copper in the bowl assists in creating a tighter bond in reactive sulfur items such as egg whites. The bond created is so tight that the sulfurs are prevented from reacting with any other material. A silver-plated bowl has the same result as the copper bowl, as will a pinch of powdered copper supplement from a health store used in a glass bowl. Drawbacks of the copper bowl include the expense of the bowl itself, and that the bowls are difficult to keep clean. Copper contamination from the bowl is minimal, as a cup of foam contains a tenth of a human's normal daily intake level.
Beaten egg whites
Health issues [ edit ]
Although egg whites are prized as a source of low-fat, high-protein nutrition, a small number of people cannot eat them. Egg allergy is more common among infants than adults, and most children will outgrow it by the age of five. Allergic reactions against egg white are more common than reactions against egg yolks. In addition to true allergic reactions, some people experience a food intolerance to egg whites.
Eggs are susceptible to Salmonella contamination. Thorough cooking eliminates the direct threat cooked egg whites that are solid and not runny), but the threat of cross-contamination remains if people handle contaminated eggs and then touch other foods or items in the kitchen, thus spreading the bacteria. In August 2010, the FDA ordered the recall of 380 million eggs because of possible Salmonella contamination.
Cooked eggs are a good source of biotin. However, daily consumption of raw egg whites for several months may result in biotin deficiency, due to their avidin content, as the avidin tightly binds biotin and prevents its absorption.
Uses [ edit ]
Egg white is a fining agent that can be used in the clarification and stabilization of wine. Egg white can also be added to shaken cocktails to create a delicate froth. Some protein powders also use egg whites as a primary source of protein.
The albumen from egg white was used as a binding agent in early photography during an 1855-90 period; such prints were called albumen prints.
In the 1750s, egg whites were believed to prevent swelling, and were used for that purpose. To help soothe areas of skin that were afflicted, egg white mixed with Armenic bole could help restore the fibers. Egg whites are also used in bookbinding during the gilding process, where it is referred to as 'glaire', and to give a book cover shine.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
Further reading [ edit ]